Fishing and Fisheries Forums

I work as the Regions Administrator for the Trust along side John Cheyne the National Regions Manager. I help promote and organise the 36 Fisheries Forums that take place right across the country that are designed to inform and update anglers, clubs, fisheries and angling organisations about the work of the Angling Trust, Environment Agency and other key organisations that work hard to improve the fishing we love so much.  I’m a keen angler and enjoy all disciplines of the sport but river fishing and match fishing are my absolute passion.

I ended the month of May with the big decision to help one of my friends get Hanley Castle Fishing Club (HCFC) back on its feet with fishable pegs before June 16th.  I say big because at that time of year in my spare time I’m busy at Upton AA waters getting it ready for the new season. Since moving close to the river over 10 years ago I’ve developed a passion for fishing the Severn in Upton and have worked hard over the years with others maintaining Upton AA fishery and involvement with club and open matches.

At the end of May HCFC had their AGM and I was pleased to be voted onto their committee and as Match and Membership Secretary. My pal who got me into this project was voted in as Club Captain. The current Chairman agreed to stand again and was also voted in.

The start of June and the new HCFC lease was signed by myself, Club Captain and Chairman

Mark and Tony

HCFC Captain and Chairman, taken on the day the lease was signed.

Over the next couple of weeks, the hard work was carried out by a core team of 5 who worked either after work or on their days off. It involved digging steps, building platforms, strimming bank side vegetation and pruning branches. Risk Assessments were carried out prior to work parties.

The reward resulted in 14 fishing pegs anyone of the team would be happy to draw in a match, albeit the majority of the steps require stakes and boards. I enjoyed working down the river and couldn’t wait to try the new fishing pegs when the river season started!

Pole saw Rio and Geoff

Buying the extendable pole saw with a pal and my son.

Ian Climbing Tree

Climbing a tree to cut back branches

Removing Branches

Removing cut branches from the water

The 9th June saw me heading across to the other side of the country for the Angling Trust East of England (Essex) Fisheries Forum to be held in Colchester. Chaired by Angling Trust Volunteer Chair Kelvin Allen. Presentations were from the local EA Fisheries Team, Angling Trust Fisheries Enforcement Manager and Angling Trust Regional Officer and a licenced coach. This was the first forum to be held in Essex and I was pleased to see the venue full to capacity. In all 28 attended, representing 18 organisations from across the board of angling. All presentations were well received, with many questions being asked about fish stocks, enforcement and how to attract more youngsters into the sport. The minutes from the forum and presentations are available at:


East of England, Colchester Forum.

Thursday 16th June, the big day arrived, the one we were all waiting for and to our dismay the Severn was up 7 foot and rising so the arranged HCFC match was cancelled. Myself and the core team who put the hard work in on the HCFC waters and a few others who were looking forward to fishing the match were terribly disappointed. I made the decision on the evening of 15th to go float fishing for chub and barbel on the Warwickshire Avon as it’s levels looked good (the Avon starts in Central England and hadn’t received as much rain as the Severn that starts in Wales). I chose a peg on a bend where I know a channel runs along the far side in front of some reeds and bushes. I decided to fish with quite a heavy bolo type float because of the distance to the far side and the extra water the river was carrying. I fed a good amount of hemp and a few free offerings of meat every trot down the swim and it wasn’t long before I was catching small chub up to 12oz and eventually some lovely 2/3 pounders, 2 surprise bream and a few hybrids ( caught on meat) also made a welcome appearance through the session. Every time the float went under I thought, could this be a barbel! It wasn’t to be but I was in no way disappointed with my catch at the end of the day.


Warwickshire Avon Thursday 16th June – 20lb 8oz

The 22nd June I was off to Angling Trust Midlands (Shropshire) Fisheries Forum in Uffington. Chaired by John Cheyne AT National Regions Manager. Presentations were from the local EA Fisheries Team, AT Fisheries Enforcement Manager and AT Fisheries Management Advisor. This was a new forum, the first in Shropshire and was well attended. All presentations were very well received with lots of good questions being asked about cormorant control, fish passage and enforcement. During the Q&A session for the enforcement presentation Paul Frank from the Shropshire Constabulary came to the front, invited by Kevin Pearson, AT Fisheries Enforcement Manager to explain how his force is fully on board with Operation Traverse and will be working with the AT and EA ‘getting out there’ licence checking and dealing with antisocial behaviour. The minutes from the forum and presentations are available at:

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